Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Tombhoneb, Aug 28, 2008.
good point there.
Yup, good point that even on this legislation there are maybe three of the five conditions which aren't met.
And that purpose and benefit has been fulfilled by the companies since the racquets sold to the public look just like the racquets that their favorite pro uses to all but the most trained eyes very close-up, most of whom are just the few people on this board.
So if your reason for buying the APDC is to look like Nadal out on the courts then your need has been met and you should be very happy. However, if you bought the APDC because you thought by using it you would be able to play tennis just like Nadal, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.
well the cortex version doesn't have "aeropro drive cortex" either. the only place the word cortex is used is right above the actual cortex system
How did a company get me to pay $159+ for a racquet versus one of their lower end offerings? By implying that the racquet is what the pros use. And isn't this what they're counting on? Think about the difference people mention here between the "classic" sticks versus today's "modern" sticks. Which one is seen as "solid" while the other a plasticy toy?
Because you got a better racquet than the cheap $40 WalMart racquet.
Did you buy the racquet because some pro uses it? If so, you would have bought that same racquet if that pro also used a "plasticy toy", right? So does it really matter if the pro uses a paintjob or not? You didn't buy it for the racquet itself but because it looks just like the one a pro uses, right?
At the end of the day, none of the legalities matter until someone decides it's worth his/her time and money to take action. The U.S. government (or more accurately any particular state government, since this is as much their issue as a federal one) is certainly not going to suddenly crack down on this practice unless there is significant pressure to do so. I can't really imagine a scenario under which it makes sense to sue a racquet company over the issue. Even if you win the case, the damages are essentially $199.
Aren't four (I am leaving aside the point about interstate trade) out of the five at least arguably met if: the advertisement misrepresents a leading player as using a racket that they are not using, the purchaser believes that the racket is being used by that player, in consequence the purchaser believes that the racket is an advance on previous offerings so that the racket is more desirable, consequently the purchaser acquires a racket that he would not otherwise have purchased?
A pro using the racquet means it must be able to stand up to some abuse, hence it's not a platicy toy. (Understand that I'm talking about consumer perception here which companies try to direct). Also, those who buy racquets because the pros use them do so for more than just looks. They don't understand your point about performance vs looks. It certainly is true that in the minds of many consumers if they get the equipment the pros use, they will be able to play like the pro. They may not be able to RUN around like the pro, but give them the racquet and they'll at least be able to hit like a pro. Absolutely consumers, especially kids, believe this.
There's also another aspect to this. Again, those who are buying racquets because the pros use them don't know enough about tennis to understand a game can't be "bought". But this goes beyond just "magically" being able to play. For example, when I first bought my Ti Radicals, I was just beginning in tennis. I absolutely bought those racquets because Agassi played with them and I wanted to emulate my game after him. For me, the racquet represented a measuring stick of sorts. If I was not playing like Agassi it's because I still had some work to do but I believed (**) that given enough time I COULD hit like him. In other words, all I had to do was elevate my skills to match the potential of the racquet. And of course, how these racquets are marketed, it's not possible to pick up a broom and beat some students.
My point is that most here know people who believe they can buy a game. With the paintjob racquets, the industry is taking advantage of that false belief and preying upon those who don't know better. That IS unethical IMO. Besides, kids do idolize their players and they do want the equipment their favorite player uses. It makes them feel connected to that player. I'd wager there is a lot of disappointment from them when they learn what they that what thought they were buying is essentially amounts to a fake.
Look at the flip side to all this. Suppose the companies didn't paintjob their racquets. Would they still sell the numbers of racquets that they do? My guess is that we'd see a lot less models offered from the likes of Head and Wilson and higher quality racquets too. I bet sales wouldn't be as good though. Maybe they shouldn't be.
The quality of pros' racquets are not that different than the retail versions because they use the same graphite and are usually made in the same factories (except Head). You see how easily pros break their racquets when they get angry? They are not made from some superior material. I'd bet you'd have a harder time breaking your retail racquet. The difference is that they build them to closer tolerances so that the pro can get 20 racquets that are all identical in specs. But if the pro's racquet is not a "plasticy toy" then neither is the retail version.
So James Blake does use the Aerogel 200? They aren't the same racquet with better tolerances. They are completely different and the makeup is not comparable to the "newer" versions. If all you had to do was add lead to get the pro racquet spec, that would be one thing.
If you advertise a Ti Radical on the Bay that was used by Agassi then it had better of been actually used by Agassi. It makes the price jump up. It is in fact worth more.
The same thing is happening in the retail market. When people see Agassi playing with the "Ti Radical" and you go into a store and see one, it looks like his, you see the price tag, you can justify that because "I've got the same racquet as he does." - only you don't. It's devious artificial price inflation - cashing in on buyer ignorance and desire for the sake of profits. It doesn't fly on the Bay and it shouldn't fly in the market place. No matter how one tries to turn it, the only attributes that can be associated with this practice are deception and trickery for more money - the essence of immoral and unethical behavior. There is no other valid, well intentioned, reason why this would be done.
I think it should be illegal.
Just like ticket scalping.
Looking at the Babolat ads for Nadal, they show a racket that looks like the APDC but only go so far as to say that he uses the APD. They must think that this is an acceptable blend of promotion and accurate representation.
I think a lot of companies get around all this by sending their frames to custom shops like ****. He keeps blanks of nearly all the top pro's and does the custom work for the pro's. He reshapes their handles, reweights the rackets and about anything else that's required. Some companies may have "in-house" customizing shops too. For a price, they'd probably customize your racket to whatever specs you want. You can't just say "make mine like Federer's". That may infringe upon HIS rights. But, if you gave them the exact specs you want, they'd make it for you in their customizing shop. Of course, it would cost you. That's the difference. It doesn't cost the pro's because that is included in their compensation for using that brand.
I didn't say that the pros use the exact same racquets as the retail versions. I said the quality is similar because they are made using similar materials in the same factories. The pros' racquet is not some super duper racquet made of indestructable materials while the retail version is a "plasticy toy" or a hunk of junk made of garbage. The pros' racquets may use a different mold and/or a different layup but they are not "superior" racquets to the retail version.
You will not play better with a pro's racquet than a retail racquet just because it's a pro's racquet. In fact, you would probably play worse since most amateurs cannot handle the weight and swingweight of pro spec racquets. Years ago, Spalding came out with a line of pro spec racquets that were designed according to the specs used by many ATP pros - they were heavy (>13 oz.) with high swingweights (>350). They quickly disappeared because very few non-pros could handle racquets designed for a pro.
Andy Murray yet ANOTHER young male touring pro usuing a Head Microgel. Great sticks.
Murray is still using a paint job though. Murray uses the Microgel Prestige Pro with the paint job of the Microgel Radical MP.
I use the Prestige Pro too. Great choice Mr. Murray may you go far!
No it's the iprestige (intelligence) 93 mid
No I am sorry but Andy Murray in those photos at the 2008 U.S. Open is using the Microgel Prestige Pro. Murray switched to the Microgel Prestige Pro in Jan. 2008. If you botherd to even look at the photos you would see that Murray's racquet now has a 16x19 string pattern, Full C.A.P. Grommets, and a 98 sq. in. or 630 cm2 head size.
Here look take a look at the Photos again from the 2008 U.S. Open.
P.S. Murray old racquet before the Microgel Prestige Pro was the HEAD PT57E
vs is right--Murray is using a Prestige Pro. As I stated in another thread I've been told by HEAD execs that Murray is very difficult to work with. That he uses a Prestige Pro painted like a Radical comes down to little more than he wants to be 'special'. He doesn't want to use a stock looking racquet--he has to be different. Is it illegal?--no. Egomaniacal?--yes.
That Murray uses a Prestige Pro pj'd as a Radical is absolutely correct. That he uses one just to be special is not quite. He may be a pain in the butt, but the reasong for the pj is that Head sells many more Radicals than Prestiges, as it's more of a "tweener" frame, and Rad pj's have traditionally been used by their flashier players (Agassi, etc.). The Rad is more playable by a wider range of recreational players than the Prestige, and has traditionally sold at greater volume, so they promote it more heavily in their advertising and marketing. In fact, Head has a history of pj'ing Prestiges to look like Radicals. The Prestige, which is heavier and more head light (as well as more flexible and having a different flex pattern), is more appealing to many pros, and more customizable, due to its more head-light starting balance.
One kind of HEAD racquet for the Pros is not anymore or any less customizable, whether it be a Prestige or Radical. This is because the boys in Kennelbach manufacture the Pro's racquets that are lighter than what is sold commercially (They do have the cosmetics on it). HEAD will then customize the racquets specs (weight, balance, and swing weight) as needed for a player or ship the racquets uncustomized to the players' desired customizer for customization.
This is done to make the racquets much easier to customize and if a player desires a Prestige that weighs 11.5 oz strung manufacturing them lighter than commercial makes that possible. Otherwise it would be impossible to have a Prestige Mid (600) or Mid Plus (630) 11.5 oz Strung.
Another possible reason that Murray wanted a Radical paintjob is that he's been quoted as saying that Agassi was his idol growing up and he wanted to play just like Agassi. Besides, his previous racquet had an i.Radical paintjob on it (whether or not it was a real i.Radical underneath, I don't know).
I have Murrays racquet, can his game be far behind???
That's almost entirely correct. However, some of the frames done at Kennelbach aren't made super light, as they do the customization in house at the manufacturing stage in some cases. The ones they send out for after-market work are exactly as you describe. Ultimately balance is also a big factor, as you can't take weight out of the head after the fact, so the Prestige layup lends itself to customization, as it initially places a lower percentage of weight in the head than the Radical version. Also, the flex pattern of the Prestige is also more appealing to most pros and is a factor in their preference for it over Radicals historically. The flex pattern is separate from the RA rating, as it can't be controlled simply via layup.
That is almost entirely correct. I said that HEAD does the customization in House in Kennelbach if the player desires. It is done after the manufacturing process. Silicone is put in the hairpin and lead tape put under the C.A.P. system grommets or bumper guard depending on what the case maybe. A tell tail sign that HEAD has done the customization is a hole that has been drilled through the butt-cap.
And of course you know that there is more than one layup for the "Radical MP". You have TGK 231.1 and TGK 231.2 that I am aware of for the "Radical MP". So really it is not about what racquet you can make what weight, balance, and swing weight because you can make any racquet out of the "Pro Room" what weight, balance, and Swing weight you want. Like I said before if a "Player" wants a head heavy, even or head light balance and weight that is 11.5 oz strung it can be done for a "Prestige MP" if it is so desired. Or if a "Player" wants a "Radical MP" in a head light balance and 12.5 oz strung it can be done.
Without his racket he wont have any game at all.
Companies getting pros to use racquets with paint jobs to make them look like another model illegal ? ... maybe not. Misleading, false advertising, dishonest - definitely!
Yep, all true. In fact, I thought there were even more Radical layups than those two, but don't profess to know them all. But the flex pattern is a trickier matter, and people rarely seem to talk about it on these boards.
I am sorry for the confusion. I certainly don't profess to know all of the Radical layups. Yeah you sure are right the flex pattern is very important.
I would buy into that except for the fact that the MG Prestige Pro, with it's more open string pattern and different balance, is new to the Prestige line. HEAD wants to promote it. Where better than in the hands of a Top 10 pro? The Radical is already an established worldwide success. To introduce a new frame and paint it like an established one doesn't make much sense to me--so I'm going to go along with what I was told regarding the situation.
Well, to get back on topic. I have thought about this for a long time and I do think that something should be done about this PJ fraud.
I find that, if a racquet is advertised with a pro player wielding it, it should be the exact same racquet that is available for retail, minus the adding of lead tape. So flex, composition, headsize, string pattern should be the same.
That is just my opinion. I feel this PJ thing has hurt too many consumers, sometimes literally, when they buy superlight headheavy racquets because they think pros play with that.
yeah, its illegal, saying djokovic uses the kblade tour that we can buy today even though he uses an entirely different racket should be illegal, also safin using a microgel even though he obviously doesnt. It is an outright lie. Something should be done.
YES YOU CAN if you learn to play proper shots.
That's not necessarily true; there are only a handful of factories in the Far East that manufacture tennis racquets for all the brands, so there's a reasonable chance that the $40 racquet is, technically, no worse than the branded model (although it may be even lighter, which wouldn't be good).
Officer Dibble, first off thanks for your contribution. However, the part of the discussion referred to wasn't in relation to no-name racquets versus branded. It was about major companies' high end frames being the same or different from the same brand's low end "supermarket specials". Clearly, just because something is made in the same factory doesn't mean it's the same thing, or a thing of the same quality. Is the top of the line Mercedes the same as their cheapest offering? Do they use exactly the same materials? Does it go from 0-60 at the same rate? This is also true for racquets.
You're right that a high percentage of the world's racquets are made at a surprisingly small number of factories in China. However, all companies using these factories specify the materials, tolerances and manufacturing processes they'd like used, and pay a proportionate amount for manufacture. Some models cost much more or less than others. Some are much better or worse than others. When they make $40 "supermarket specials" they often don't even use graphite (which is almost certainly the "toy" an ealier poster referred to). They make a certain number of racquets that have similar cosmetics to their performance racquets intended to be sold to people via the mass channel (i.e. Walmart, KMart, big box sporting goods stores, etc.), which have vastly inferior specs and materials. When they make performance frames, they use different materials and charge proportionately more for them.
In turn, the racquet companies are charged much more by the OEMs for making more labor-intensive frames, or ones with costlier materials and processes. Like all retail items, the cost at retail is largely determined by the cost of manufature, at least in terms of relative proportion. So a $40 racquet is, in fact, usually technically much worse than a higher end frame.
That may or may not be true, but most people buy the $180 racquet from a pro shop instead of the $40 racquet from Wal-Mart NOT because some pro uses the $180 model but because they think a $180 racquet from a real tennis pro shop has got to be a better racquet than a $40 racquet from Wal-Mart. Most people tend to associate a higher price with better quality, and not just with tennis racquets, whether or not that product is endorsed by a celebrity.
Agreed. However many people lend credence to the frames the pros play with (or think they are) not because they want to play like them but because they assume "he's a pro, he wouldn't use a crap product". The argument that using a pros actual racquet isn't good for their game isn't rally valid because even if they do make them a better player by selling them a different stick, consumers are free to be as stupid as they wish. Point made by cigarettes ha. If they want a pros stick and you say you can give that to them, thats ypur obliation as an ethical company, simple as that.
This whole situation is merky at best, it's clearly unethical on some level to elicit such debate. It would be interesting to see what racquet sales would do if this practice was banned. Would players change their setups at the companies whim for money? Would manufactures offerings change to match pros sticks in a effort to rejuvenate presumably lost revenue. Who knows.
I hope this post isn't seen as argumentative. I think both sides have valid points but overall I think it says something that a company saying "our pros sticks are the same that are available to you" does mean something to many people, even if only principally.
Interesting thread I'm new to tw, great forum!
^^ sorry for spelling and no indentation, on mobile ha
JuSt saw im posting so someone from four years ago. Noob mistake sorry guys
Pro stock cars should be illegal. My 4 cylinder Toyota
Camry handles like a boat and barely goes up steep
hills. Total false advertising!
i actually cant think of a racquet that mac ever used that was a paintjob
The graphite Dunlop Maxply McEnroe and probably his current racquet are paintjobs.
Yes, that Graphite Maxply McEnroe was a paint job.
Try bump drafting.
Wonder how the OP's (and all the other outraged victims) lawsuit is going...
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